Best: Raw Opening Segments That End In Blood
Here’s what I wrote in last week’s Best and Worst of Raw report regarding the prospect of a Paul Heyman/Vince McMahon street fight:
Of course, this is all a pretty clear lead-in for Brock Lesnar to re-arrive and attack Vince, only to get bailed out by the I LOVE YOU POP EXPRESS. And as cool as Brock is, Inappropriate Buzzcut Theater is not something I’m emotionally prepared to deal with yet.
Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. Paul Heyman came out for the fight overconfident because he knew he had Brock Lesnar waiting in the Vanilla Gorilla position. Vince, bad hip or not, got his shots in on Heyman to lure out Brock, because the entire “fight” challenge had been a plot to lure Lesnar out into the open and run him over with the storyline mack truck that is Triple H. It made sense, it was exciting, it ended in a little bloodshed because Brock Lesnar never figured out how to pretend to wrestle, and guess what? It worked. The WWE Fan Nation video even switches to black and white like it’s Kill Bill.
My biggest problem with Triple H angles is Triple H having to explain every aspect of them to us via 20-minute in-ring conversations with himself. I’m assuming we’ll get that next week. This week, we get the WWE’s most celebrated “legendary ass-kicker” showing up to kick the ass of its most legitimate physical threat to set up a big showdown at the biggest show of the year. Next week, we’ll have Triple H holding the microphone in his mouth, pointing vaguely at the ground and explaining how THIS WAS ALL A SET-UP and how he’s OUT FOR REVENGE for what Lesnar did to him and his family, and THIS BUSINESS and THIS BUSINESS AGAIN and all the shit we figured out from the blood and the punching. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the last physicality the feud sees before Mania, because there are THREATENING WORDS to be had, or whatever.
But hey, we’ll Wait And See Where It Goes™. This is a lay-up, guys. Just have them fight and make each other bleed until one of those fights (spoiler: the WrestleMania one) has to end in a pin.
Worst: This Segment Being Replayed In Full Six More Times On The Same Episode Of Raw
Not a good sign.
Best: Triple H Peed His Pants
It looks like he filled up his pants with This Business.
Best: Dolph Ziggler Deserves An Emmy For This Match
It wasn’t the best match on the show — that was the main-event, obviously — but my FAVORITE match on the show was Dolph Ziggler versus Ryback. “Dolph Ziggler is good at bumping” isn’t a new thing to say, but this might’ve been his master class. He made Ryback look like the most unstoppable, powerful, monstrous dude in the WWE, something I didn’t think was possible after Failing To Lift Tensai-Gate. Watch him go Full Batista when he tries to kick Ryback through the ropes and gets shoved backwards across the ring. Watch how his jumping DDT stalls, not in the bad, PWG way where the physics are wrong, but in that cool way where you know the impact is inevitable, and you’re forced to wait for it. Watch how he manages to get spinebustered like three different times during one spinebuster. His Stinger Splash into a brick wall. Holy shit, Dolph.
I really hope WWE finds a way to formally turn Dolph face, because I so badly want to cheer for him and his hapless gang of racially-diverse friends. AJ and Langston are basically the least-effective familiars in wrestling. At the same time, Langston looks (and sounds) great whenever he’s asked to do something, and AJ is still gorgeous and healing from her yearlong stint as WWE’s Whore Joke. If Ziggler can do a few noble things, keep bumping like he bumps and keep his friends through the transition, WWE’s got at least 5-10 additional $35 t-shirts out of me.
Worst: CM Punk Skips The Rap References And Goes Straight To Letting Jerry Lawler Be Upset About God
Remember back when CM Punk was running down the Rock and whipped out “your arms too short to box with God?” Remember how great that was? Remember how Jerry Lawler whiffed that quote’s context in its rap, James Weldon Johnson or Broadway usages and kept murmuring under his breath at the ends of sentences about how he thought CM Punk had just called himself God? Remember how stupid we thought he was for just hearing a word in the sentence and assuming its inference?
Yeah, CM Punk just straight-up ended his promo with I’M GOD YOU GUYS, and now Lawler gets to close his eyes and shake his head derisively because there’s only one God, ma’am, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that. Does Jerry get to be WWE’s authority on God because he’s the only guy on the payroll who died and got to keep his job?
Worst: Whoever Let Donald Trump Into The Hall Of Fame, You’re Fired, Get It
A few truths:
1. The honorary celebrity wing of the WWE Hall Of Fame is a courtesy thing, and we should never get offended if, say, they want to put Jeremy Piven in it for his outstanding service in the field of Getting SummerSlam’s Name Wrong. They just want Jeremy Piven to show up at WrestleMania and wave to folks. Relax.
2. If Donald Trump is going to be in the WWE Hall Of Fame, he should also be in the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling Hall Of Fame for that one time when Big Bad Mama tried to trick Daisy into thinking Trump wanted to hook up with her. If you don’t get that reference, you should really watch more G.L.O.W.
3. Never forget the best no-selling of a gimmick in WWE history: